Genetic screening is a kind of medical test used to identify changes in genes, proteins or chromosomes. The changes noted are used to confirm or identify your genetic condition or help in determining your chances of developing or passing on any genetic disorder. There are over 1,000 genetic tests that are being used and more are still being developed. Note some important aspects of genetic screening.
Personalised medicine is the use of genetic screening to create tailored medical treatments that are appropriate for the biology of each patient. This kind of treatment is a safer, more targeted and more effective approach for medical practices compared to the conventional treatment that is supposedly made for everyone. The critics say that the human genome is not fully understood. However, the routine use of genes becomes a basis for medical decisions. This is why research into the human genome is continuous and will never stop so as to better human health.
Several Methods Available
Molecular genetic screening is a method that involves the study of single genes or short DNA lengths to determine variations or any mutations that could cause a genetic disorder. The chromosomal genetic screening analyses the entire chromosome or long DNA lengths to identify if there are significant changes in the DNA. The changes could be another copy of the chromosome, which causes a genetic condition. The biochemical genetic studies the amount or activity of protein levels or abnormalities that can indicate DNA changes that cause a genetic disorder.
There came a time when there was a belief by the scientific community that there is only one gene that could cause a trait in humans. Even if there are links between specific genetic variations and certain diseases, it is known that if a person develops a disease, the influence mostly comes from the genes. Developing a certain disease can be identified by the environment and lifestyle at the same level as genetics does. Normally, there is more than one gene which can bring a certain trait or disease. Most of the time, multiple genes work together for this to happen. Therefore, the results of many genetic screenings pertaining to disease risks need proper interpretation. Even if the genome might show a predisposition to a certain medical condition, there are still a lot of uncertainties.
This is what you can expect from genetic screening if you are about to have it done.